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EPILOGUE                              34J

family solidarity and the village solidarity have been broken
up. I cannot accept democracy in the sense of parliamentarism,
for I know full well that a Chinese M.P. is not an M,P.; he
cannot be if he is a Chinese, for an M.P. in China is an
"official," too, in the most pathetic sense of the word, and we
have too many of them, so why bother to elect them at the
cost of five thousand dollars a ticket, for which we will eventually
have to pay?

Nor can I accept, for that matter, any ism, for I have seen
how foreign isms, even the most fast-dyed and fadeless kind,
lose colour in a Chinese laundry, and give off only a stinking
laundry steam odour. Nor can I accept another revolution,
for I have heard the familiar boom of guns and the racket of
fusillades, and they have ceased to scare me now, for the boom
of guns soon ceased and the racket that sounded like a fusillade
seemed more and more like firecrackers in the next street, and
I learned that it was only Mr. Yang celebrating his assumption
of a new post. Nor can I accept Moral Upliftism, for I have
had enough of it and it has ceased to amuse me. This nation
of moral uplifters, with their eternal pagan sermonizing for
two thousand years, has not yet rescued itself from rampant
official corruption and heartless oppression of the people.
Besides, the moral uplifter, as I have pointed out, is a selfish
man, not only because he wants to uplift other people's morality
but because he is avoiding going to jail himself. He would
have to go to jail if he stopped preaching moral uplift and
began talking a government by law. The moral uplifter erects
a pailou in honour of other moral uplifters after their death, if
they turn out to be gentlemen, but inevitably fails to send other
moral uplifters to prison if they turn out, as most of them do,
to be thieves. And what he does not do unto others he does
not want done unto himself. Therein lie the gaiety and pleasant-
ness of Moral Upliftism.

Meanwhile the country must live; it cannot be allowed to
sink lower and lower under foreign domination. A temporary
national extinction, even \vith eventual restoration to in-
dependence, is cold comfort and no real consolation. The
people are being bled white and rendered homeless, aad a
ruthless, artificial process of moral and